Charles William Bigge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles William Bigge

Charles William Bigge (28 October 1773 – 8 December 1849) was an English merchant and banker in Newcastle on Tyne.


The son of Thomas Charles Bigge, he was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford (M.A. 1795). He then studied law, under Charles Abbott, served in the militia, and undertook a continental tour from 1800. Sir Matthew White Ridley, 3rd Baronet and Ralph Lambton were hunting friends.[1] Ridley became a business partner.[2]

Bigge served as High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1802, a position previously held by his grandfather William Bigge, in 1750, and his father in 1771. He was Lieutenant Colonel in the Northumberland Supplementary Militia.

On the death of his father in 1794, Bigge inherited estates at Benton House, Little Benton, Newcastle on Tyne, Heddon on the Wall, Ponteland and Gosforth; and collieries at Little Benton and Willington. He became, in 1806, a partner in the Newcastle banking firm of Ridley Bigge Gibson & Co which in 1832 became Northumberland and Durham District Bank. In 1812 he built Linden Hall, Longhorsley, Northumberland to a design by Sir Charles Monck on land bought from the Earl of Carlisle.

In politics, Bigge was a Whig leader in Northumberland, associated with Charles Grey. He was offered a baronetcy in 1839, which he declined.[3] While he was a potential candidate as Member of Parliament, he ruled himself out on grounds of cost, and never stood.[2]


Bigge married Alice Wilkinson, daughter of Christopher Wilkinson of Newcastle (of the Wilkinsons of Thorpe), in 1802; they had eight sons and four daughters.[4]

  • The eldest son, Charles John, married Lewis Marianne, daughter of Prideaux John Selby.[5] Charles (1803–1846) and Matthew (1822–1906), joined their father as directors of the bank.
  • The fourth son, Edward Thomas, became Archdeacon of Lindisfarne.[6]
  • The fifth son, John Frederic (1814–1885), became Vicar of Stamfordham[6] and his son Arthur (1849–1931) became Baron Stamfordham.
  • The seventh son, Arthur, was a barrister.[7]
  • Julia Katherina, the third daughter, married Henry Joseph Maltby, son of Edward Maltby, as his first wife.[6][8]

The Bank was successful during Bigge's lifetime; but was later beset with financial difficulties as a result of which it closed in 1857. His son and heir Matthew had guaranteed the debts of the bank and was obliged to sell the family properties in 1861 to meet his obligations.


  1. ^ Local Collections; Or, Records of Remarkable Events, Connected with the Borough of Gateshead. 1849. pp. 129–30. 
  2. ^ a b "Northumberland 1820–1832, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  3. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine. R. Newton. 1850. p. 539. 
  4. ^ John Burke; Bernard Burke (1850). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. H. Colburn. p. 370. 
  5. ^ John Burke; Bernard Burke (1850). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. H. Colburn. p. 362. 
  6. ^ a b c Sir Bernard Burke (1853). Index to Burke's dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. Colburn and Company. p. 420. 
  7. ^ s:Men-at-the-Bar/Bigge, Arthur
  8. ^ Mrs. Dorothy Lord (Maltby) Verrill (1916). Maltby-Maltbie Family History. B. L. Maltbie, by the authority of the Maltby associates. p. 136.